Notes from Stroud UK meeting

Notes from Int’l TimeBanking Alliance / Time For The World Meeting Aug. 22, 2010

Stroud, UK

In attendance: Geoff Thomas (Director, Timebanking Wales), Sarah Bird (Projects Manager, Timebanking UK), Martin Simon (Chief Executive, Timebanking UK), Julie Cigman (early education specialist), Julie Gorski (guest of Preston Austin, tech specialist), Marc Brakken (researcher, University of Wisconsin), Stephanie Rearick (Director, Dane Co. TimeBank, Co-Chair TimeBanks USA), Preston Austin (tech/communications consultant, TimeBanks USA), Philippe Grainger (Development Manager, Rushey Green Timebank), Gill Stoker (member, Lee FairShares, SE London), Ian Toplis (Information Systems Manager, Timebanking UK)

The day’s meeting was split into two segments. First segment was devoted specifically to the beginning of creation of an international Timebanking Alliance. Second half of day was an overview, with discussion, of the Time For The World (TFTW) Project. The two projects are separate but overlapping and mutually supportive. The Timebanking Alliance will be specific to timebanking and its practitioners; the TFTW work group/s will include people from timebanking and additional disciplines, such as other complementary currencies, economists, social theorists, and social and economic justice thinkers and activists.

The meeting began with a brief overview of what an international alliance might be. Then participants discussed who needs to be included in the future – as a brief brainstorm, to be added to later.

Who to include in future: Julio Gisbert Quero (Spain), Ulla Gawlik (Sweden), Vasileios Klianis (United Arab Emirates), Selma Piro (London UK), John Rogers (Germany), Becky Booth (UK), Vico Hemsi (Italy), Elaine Desjardins (France), reps. from timebanks w/ housing associations, young people, national health service, primary care trusts, Argentina, Scotland (Tam), Ireland, France, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany, Netherlands (Pascal), Per (Denmark), Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Alveira (Spain) SR note: we will create a separate people tracking form on this site, which you can add to and from which we will develop an outreach plan.

Sarah Bird raised the question: How to get the learning we collect and disseminate to timebank participants?

We discussed the following options, as a start: create multilingual online learning community, build on TimeBanks USA (TBUSA) Action Hub concept to create international learning community; build on TBUSA, Wales, etc. concept of regional training and support for those who desire similar structure; build on existing or planned dissemination efforts in various regions (more discussion later).

We then identified some of the readily observable gaps in resources that inhibit accomplishing above: interoperability of various timebanking systems, human resources to devote to creation of alliance, project and supporting materials.

Martin Simon discussed a 2002 meeting between TBUSA and Timebanking UK, where a manifesto was drawn up in order to lead to such an international alliance – Intl_TB_2002manifesto. The work was not carried forward due to lack of human resources to spearhead effort. Stroud meeting participants agreed to use the document as a guideline, eliminating US-centric language such as ‘Time Dollar’ (to be replaced with ‘Time Credit’ for now). See document here (when link becomes available).


Here we discussed our mutual overall goals for a Timebanking alliance, summarized nicely in advance by John Rogers and agreed to by all present:

* Improve methodologies and mechanisms (including software, resource recovery structures)
* Political protection, standing, policy development and implementation
* Educational learning and support

As means to achieving those goals:

Allowing circle of reciprocity of information exchange to converge and share out knowledge.

Creating a service that’s running and an open source tool (similar in structure to Wikipedia)

Develop a cadre of speakers and trainers. Is there a role for entrepreneurs in carrying this work forward?

Create and develop training/leadership ladder to maximize role and beneficial impact of experienced timebanking coordinators, brokers, leaders, and minimize burnout

We also agreed on the need to break our goals into short, medium, long-term goals

Short term goal – agreeing on principles

Short-medium term goal – agreeing on structure, stewardship of alliance

Medium term – toward end of year 1 host summit geared toward producing products (action hub, blogs, strategy work group, policy work group, etc); develop learning community; create and use evaluation tools for existing programs, plans and structures

Long term – development of infrastructure and policies that enable timebanking to be applied, replicated and disseminated at scale

We then developed a timeline, adding external events that are already scheduled and committing to continuing to populate the timeline with additional events and action steps/milestones to reach.


Thus concluded our first segment of our meeting.

After lunch we went through the Time For The World proposal in detail, and discussed elements of it.

This led to a discussion of examples of existing national and regional support structures:

Wales central timebanking organization identifies timebanks that have popped up, trains and turns them into freestanding networks

TimeBanks USA is developing and testing a regional training structure in order to train more trainers, build more of the many varied skills required to do timebanking successfully. Dissemination proposal phase II includes creating structures to test these models elsewhere, where desired.

And a discussion of research needed during phase I

Potential resources for research and evaluation:

* Prof Martin Knapp London School of Economics looking at timebanking
* Prof Mark Drakeford Cardiff University
* New Economics Foundation research
* IJCCR research

During the discussion about open source principles and expectation of mutual reciprocity people expressed the following concerns and hopes.


* Maintaining current and/or creating alternative income streams for creators of intellectual property, umbrella organizations
* Quality control issues in open source information
* We need to provide a clear answer to the question: what value does this add to your own work?
* Once we share what happens next? To provide/increase positive feedback for creators of ‘intellectual property’

Advantages of applying co-production and open source principles to our work:

* For current leaders: communication tools lighten work load
* May increase visibility and possibilities for creating financial return
* Being consistent with the core values of timebanking
* Making timebanking more widely available and functional

The day’s meeting concluded with Stephanie and Preston agreeing to write and post notes, create this blog, collect letters of support for TFTW project, and set up and implement next steps. Day 2 of this meeting was cancelled due to getting a lot done on day 1, inability for some key participants to spend another day at the meeting, and an illness. We were happy to get a little rest and look forward to carrying the work forward here for the moment.


One Comment on “Notes from Stroud UK meeting”

  1. Vico Hemsi says:

    Dear Gil,

    Thanks for sending me this document.
    I would be highly honoured to participate to your next meetings.
    All the best
    Vico Hemsi
    Milan Time Bank – Banca del Tempo Milano Centro Storico
    Mobile +39 335 8159728
    Skype vico19361